Israel in the Furnace

A young girl was being sold at auction one day. She was a beautiful girl, tall and slender. The bidding was keen, and quickly mounted higher and higher until at last only two men were left bidding for her ownership: the one a low, uncouth foul-mouthed fellow who raised his bi … More

Refinement

Ezekiel’s second message stressed that Jerusalem would become a furnace of affliction-a smelting furnace of judgment that would melt those who remained in it (vv. 17-19). Israel had become worthless to God, for she was dross to Him-like the scum of copper, tin, iron, and lead left inside a furnace. Metallurgy was a developed science throughout the ancient Near East (Job 28:1-11). When metals are heated in furnaces, the residue left after the pure metal is poured is the dross. To God, Israel was like dross-worthless because of her sin.

The dross was the by-product of smelting, but God was going to resmelt the dross. Much as metals are melted in a furnace, so God would gather the people inside the city and melt them. This thought is stated three times (vv. 20-22). Judah retreated to Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar invaded the land. The city became the crucible as God’s fiery blasts of wrath and judgment blew on the people. God’s judgment and destruction forced the people to acknowledge Him: And you will know that I the Lord have poured out My wrath upon you.

Application

As I go through the refinement process of this life I want to come out a useful vessel.

Ezekiel 22:17-22 (English Standard Version)

And the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have poured out my wrath upon you."

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